thefacehead is next for the Vital Villa interview.
thefacehead is next for the Vital Villa interview.
1) When did you become a Villa fan and why?
That’s not an easy question to answer. I grew up in Cornwall, when I was first getting into football it was the late eighties and Liverpool were dominant. All the kids at school supported them, literally everyone, so I followed them for a while not really understanding the whole football thing. But to me there was no individuality or passion about these kids and I knew that I wouldn’t be supporting Liverpool. I got a sticker album at the start of the 89-90 season and was drawn to a team a couple of pages in, vibrant colours and the name Aston Villa, it just rolled off the tongue ‘ASTON VILLA!’ I was hooked. I got the official history video for Christmas and watched it religiously.
2) What is your favourite Villa moment of all time/most treasured memory?
1994 League Cup win, it was my first experience of us winning a trophy and it was against the team who denied us the league the previous season. I still can’t believe we haven’t won a major trophy since 96.
3) If you could bring back a former Villa player into this team (at his peak) who would it be and why?
Gordon Cowans for me. I think he was simply superb, I only got glimpses of him because of my age, but when I watch footage of him in the early 80’s I think how good was he!! Such composure on the ball, great passer and great vision. Surely should have played more for England and he’s not the only one.
4) Paul Lambert? Your opinion please?
Yeah, no, erm……. I don’t really know if I’m honest. I was on the verge of calling for his head at Christmas but the way we played over the last ten games was amazing. I think it took a long time for him to find his best team as I said it would early in the season. Tactically naive sometimes, (4 up front against Bradford anyone?) but he’s a young manager so he’s going to make mistakes. This season will show us how good or not so good he is. You would think the media would be more enthusiastic about his youth approach but because we aren’t Man United or based in London they don’t care. It will be interesting to see how he handles the Benteke situation which will be sure to get hot next month.
5) Best and worst moments of last season?
The best has to be the 6-1 demolition of Sunderland, simply joyous watching a wet and hapless Di Canio get his comeuppance, a Blue Nose actually said that we could have been anyone playing that night we were that good, so it was no fluke. The worst was losing a semi over TWO legs to a team from the bottom tier, Villa will never have such an easy opportunity to reach a Wembley final and we’d been brilliant in that competition, Man City away, Norwich away, upset Di Canio Part 1. The Chelsea result was horrific also, but they were class that night.
6) Some say last season was a success, others not so much. What is your opinion?
Another tricky question without a black and white answer. Look I always think you have to win something to have a successful season, however when you are in a position we find ourselves in then our expectations are unfortunately lower. Losing the semi as I have already said was a shocking failure. We turned the corner in the end and stayed up, but that is 3 seasons in a row fighting relegation, it’s not good enough for Aston Villa, transition or no transition 15th is not a success. I understand it is going to take time, so if you look at the season over the whole, the worst defeat in our history was in there so no, no way was it a success.
7) Your opinion of Randy Lerner and the board?
I would like Randy to be a bit more up front wit the fans, communicate across to us where he is trying to take the club. We are the lifeblood of Aston Villa and we have a right to know what is going on. He spent a lot of money when he first arrived so you can’t say he hasn’t invested. I think he is very cautious of the new FFP rules, which, if they are to implemented with an iron fist could mean points deductions for teams losing money. So this may well be why they have so dramatically cut the wages, BUT if he doesn’t tell us anything we are all left to guess for ourselves.
8) Which player/s should Villa sign this summer?
I’m quite lazy at searching up potential buys if I’m honest I tend to wait until they put pen to paper then have a goosey, so I might well have signed Marcus Bent If I was manager lol. Seriously though the defence is a shambles and specifically the centre, I’m not convinced by Vlaar or Clarke, you build your team from the back and these two, for me, aren’t good enough. So I would make buying to brand new centre backs a priority.
9) Which player/s should Villa get rid of this summer?
Bannan, Ireland, El Ahamadi and Albrighton.
10) Favourite current player?
Christian Benteke is a dream player, his finishing is majestic and he’s a defenders nightmare, big, strong, good on the ball he has everything and he must not be sold yet, just one more season, he owes us for being the team to show him to the world, sadly I think he will be sold to the highest bidder this summer.
11) Who was your first footballing hero and who are your favourite all time player/s?
My first hero was Chris Price for his last minute goal against Arsenal, I ran around the room hysterically and that is still my favourite celebration to this day.
Favourite players that I’m old enough to remember- McGrath, Cowans, Taylor, Atkinson, Spink, Bosnich, Saunders, Young, Angel, Staunton, Teale, Ugo, Benteke, Lowton, Guzan, Daley and the Mighty Atom.
Favourite players I’m not old enough to remember – Morely, Mortimer, Shaw, Little, Rimmer, Evans, Withe and Thomas ‘Pongo’ Warring.
12) What do you expect us to do/finish this season?
Premier: with Benteke 10th without 14th
FA Cup: 4th round
13) You can ask yourself any question you want to about Villa and what is your answer?
Q Are Aston Villa ever going to qualify for Champions League football?
A We are undoubtedly the biggest side in England if not Europe not to have taken part in the Modern Champions League. Luck has been a factor in the past, we finished 2nd and 4th before a change in the system and our push for it under MON failed every March, so we have had chances and been unlucky as well as blowing it. The game is now geared towards the clubs already in the top spots and with FFP soon to concrete the likes of United in financial dominance it is going to become virtually impossible to qualify. The life line that will be the winners of the Europa League qualifying for Champions League football is a lottery, but it is one that we can strive for and with it being put in place in 2 or 3 seasons time it might fit into our plans nicely. It’s the dream that is fast being taken away from clubs like ours and unless FFP is scrapped, in the future I seriously doubt the famous Aston Villa will dine at Europe’s top table again.
14) Just to change the theme slightly, a snap shot of you outside of football, answer or ignore at your leisure:
(based on our WHO ARE YOU thread!!!)
a) Which celebrity/s would you most like to meet and why? Michael Stipe, he’s my musical hero and a quick chat would be lovely.
b) Age 32
c) Location: Kernow (Cornwall)
d) Favourite alcoholic drink: Red red wine…
e) Favourite non-alcoholic drink: Assam Tea
f) Favourite Film/s: Alien, Die Hard, The Godfather, Predator, Trainspotting, Pan’s labyrinth, Life Of Brian… so many I could go on for years.
g) Favourite TV Show/s: The Sopranos, The Wire, Red Dwarf, Fawlty Towers, Rome, Boardwalk Empire, Black Adder, The Office, Spaced, The Apprentice, any Attenborough documentary.
h) Music?: R.E.M. The Prodigy, Leftfield, Massive Attack, The Doors, The Beatles, The Who, Pink Floyd, The Arcade Fire, Duran x 2, Oasis, Blur, Eminem, Fleetwood Mac, UB40, Nirvana, Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies, George Michael, Led Zep…………….
i) Best ever moment in your life: Getting married to my amazing lady!
j) Ambitions: To write a book. To raise a child with good morals and one that supports the Villa!
k) Wise words: Treat everyday as if it is your last because one day you will be right!
Now your turn, how to submit an interview: click here
Villan in Exile